The Beauty Memo

The best new Korean Beauty products

When it comes to beauty innovations, all eyes are firmly fixed on South Korea. Here’s an insider guide to the latest, greatest K-Beauty worth investing in – tried and tested by PORTER’s beauty desk

Illustration by Willa Gebbie

The sheet mask to covet

When Femmue, the new luxury Korean skincare brand, hit the beauty desk, we couldn’t wait to try it. Marrying natural and botanical ingredients (not the first thing you think of with K-Beauty) with luxurious textures, Femmue is a version of high-powered flower therapy. Dream Glow Revitalize and Radiance Sheet Masks have become firm favorites and are particularly helpful for hydrating skin when traveling.

The cleanser you never knew you needed

It’s one of the most asked questions on Google (and in the NET-A-PORTER office): can oily skin embrace oils? It does seem counter-intuitive, but oil cleansers are in fact close to skin’s natural pH so they won’t clog pores or cause breakouts. And, like attracts like, meaning that an oil cleanser attracts the oil in makeup, grime and sebum, gently removing it without stripping the skin with harsh ingredients. Our current favorite? Neogen Real Cica Micellar Cleansing Oil, which is nourishing and non-sticky.

The next-gen face oil that delivers

Nothing seems to give skin a plump, dewy, healthy glow like a good-quality face oil. And the new-generation oils are especially impressive with high-tech credentials. Venn Advanced Multi-Perfecting Red Oil Serum blends natural oils with fermented botanical extracts, including Korean Angelica, to amplify its effects, creating a luxurious and antioxidant-rich serum oil that deeply hydrates, brightens and softens skin. It’s perfect used at this time of year when skin seem drier and feels rougher – you will notice a difference overnight.

The classic face cream reinvented

In the flurry of excitement about trying new serums, sheet masks and peels, we seem to have forgotten how important a really good face cream is for our skin. Over the last year or so, estheticians have repeatedly told us how many women report having dry skin – but also admit to not using creams anymore. Creams don’t have to be heavy, in fact the super-luxe gel texture of Cremorlab’s O2 Couture Hydra Intense Cream is still deeply nourishing and hydrating (using the proven effects of deep-ocean thermal water). It’s also perfect under makeup and keeps your base looking fresh, not dry, for much longer.

The skin shot to try immediately

Already an essential step in Korean beauty regimes, ampoules supercharge your skincare in one single shot. Which is why Ooozo’s Face In-Shot Nutrient Mask has become the beauty team’s latest obsession. Think the viscosity of a serum packed with even more actives per drop, which works double-time on everything from blemishes to fine lines. For best results, lightly exfoliate before using an ampoule to maximize its benefits. Why? Dead skin cells sitting on the surface of your skin can hinder absorption. And remember that due to the potent actives, skin can become sensitive at first, so go slow.